All posts in Reviews

  • Necessities: My Cetma 5-Rail Front Rack

    cobi_kleiber-6cetma 5 rail front rack

    If there’s one piece of equipment that’s really changed my bicycle’s capabilities, it’s the 5 Rail Front Rack from Cetma. Since adding one to my Factory Five F550 about a year ago, I can confidently say that my life has improved; especially  when it comes to grocery shopping and heading out on skate missions. I spend 3-4 days a week out skating and filming, getting the worst back pains from carrying a heavy camera bag all day while skating. Since getting myself a Cetma rack, I’ll now simply strap my board and Chrome Niko bag to the rack using bungee cords and roll from spot to spot. Not only is my back much happier, I arrive at each spot with a head start on warming up. I also no longer have to deal with dragging all my gear through the metro.

    With summer right around the corner, the 5-rail rack will be getting even more use. During the winter months, I don’t really mind carrying a backpack as it keeps me a bit warmer. Though in the warmer weather, my stance on backpacks is the opposite; I avoid them at all costs even though I end up carrying the same amount of gear. When you’re already getting sweaty from riding the last thing you want is extra weight and sweat on your back. The solution? Strap whatever you’re carrying to the rack and cruise in comfort!

    The Cetma 5-Rail is a breeze to install and remove as well. In the time it takes to change a tube, you can either install or remove your rack…though I just keep mine on at all times. If your main ride is lacking cargo carrying capabilities and don’t want to go the pannier/rack route (or your frame is lacking the eyelets), then you should take a good look at the offerings from Cetma.

  • Thru Axle vs. Quick Release?

    20568654643_7e46e031c4_b (1)
    Ever wondered what the benefits of using a thru axle are versus a quick release, or rather, the benefits of a quick release over a thru axle? Well, the good guys over at 44 Bikes dove in on the subject and came up with a super detailed and throrough piece on the hot topic.

    Head on over to 44 Bikes to read their TA vs. QR piece.

  • Favorites: Ass Savers Folding Mud Guard

    ass-savers

    I’m sure you’re all well-aware of these nifty folding mud guards from Ass Savers; they’re straight up awesome. There’s nothing worse than being caught in some wet conditions, riding a bike with no fenders. Sure, if you’re stuck in a downpour, these folding mud guards aren’t going to do much to keep you dry. Where they excel is on wet roads right after the rain (which happens like every other day in Shanghai).

    You might already have one of these guys if your daily rider is a track or road bike sans fenders. If you don’t have one already, I can’t give Ass Savers a stronger co-sign. Simply stick this thing in your bag (it weighs nearly nothing) and no longer will you have to worry about sporting a ‘coon stripe on the way to your next meeting or destination.

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  • Feedback Sports Velo Hinge

    velo hinge feedback sports

    My buddies over at Feedback Sports were kind enough to send me a couple of their new Velo Hinge bike storage hooks and they’re looking great. I’ve been a fan of Feedback’s stuff for a while now and have yet to be disappointed with one of their products.

    Sure, you can always head down to your local hardware store and purchase some rubberized u-hooks, but they’re not nearly as clean looking nor as functional as the Velo Hinges. Sure, they both accomplish the same thing, but the Velo Hinge allows you to hang a bike and them pivot it for maximum space. Not gonna be using the Velo Hinge for a while? No problem, simply fold the hook down and you’ll hardly notice it was there in the first place; much better than staring at an empty protruding red, yellow or grey u-hook.

    As you may know, I’m in-between jobs and countries right now. I should be all setup in Shanghai by early March, but until then I won’t have a place to use these hooks. I do know, however, that space and efficiency is going to be of the essence while living in Shanghai and the Velo Hinge will be the perfect way for me to store my bike(s) while overseas. I’ll be sure to update you all with photos of the installation once I arrive in China. Until then, check out the Velo Hinge by Feedback Sports if you’re looking to upgrade your bicycle storage!

    -B

  • Qak Thump Blu Headphone Review

    thumpblu headphones

    I’m always listening to music; all day, every day. So when I got the chance to try out the Thump Blu wireless Bluetooth headphones by QAK, I couldn’t have been more excited. “Here’s another chance to take advantage of my Spotify Premium account” I told myself. For the majority of the day at work, I’ll be wearing some big over-the-ear headphones for all-day comfort and optimal sound quality. Getting out of work, I normally grab some ear buds and ended up getting used to the sub-par sound quality and general discomfort. When I first received these headphones, I figured they’d be comparable to a decent pair of buds both in terms of sound and fit. Well, I was wrong. The dynamic range is incredible and these headphones BANG! I went for some hip-hop right off the bat and was blown away at the bass these produce and how clear the audio is. Oh yeah, and how about NO MORE WIRES! No longer do you have to worry about rigging through your jersey or tee shirt; Bluetooth is the truth. (more below)

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  • Initial Reaction: ABUS Granit X Plus Mini 54 U Lock

    abus granit x plus mini 54 u lock

    I came home from work today to find a nice little package from ABUS, containing their newly-released Granit X Plus 54 u lock. This mini u lock is their top-of-the-line in terms of security and portability. They took the locking system and wide profile of the largest Granit X Plus locks and shrunk the shackle size, which is great if you’re in an urban area and need a lock that won’t take up a ton of space in your bag. My initial reaction to this lock is that it’s beefy, and in the best of ways. Not only does it have a double bolted shackle, but it’s also equipped with an automatic keyhole cover that helps keep moving parts safe from the elements. I’m so excited to try out this lock! I’ll report back once I’ve given it some proper use and let you know what I think.

    -B

     

  • Budnitz No. 2 Titanium 650b Mountain Bike

    budnitz no 2 650b mountain bike

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably caught wind of the latest wheel-related phenomenon in mountain biking: the 650b aka 27.5”. For years and years I’d been perfectly content on my 26” hardtail, even giving a couple singlespeed 29ers a chance, however, nothing really held my attention like a good ‘ole 26” wheel; at least until just recently.

    I was given the privilege of testing out the Budnitz No. 2 titanium 650b mountain bike and let’s just say it was really hard to give back after two weeks of straight thrashing. The bike rides like a dream and is ridiculously light, weighing in at just 18 lbs. The 650b is a wheel size I’ve been curious about in regards to mountain biking for some time now, especially since I’m partial to a smaller wheel. A 29er has always felt a little cumbersome for me and doesn’t exactly fit my riding style. As a youth, I spent afternoons building jumps and riding a BMX bike, so once I transitioned to a mountain bike, my bmx instincts followed.

    Continue reading “Budnitz No. 2 Titanium 650b Mountain Bike” »

  • Chrome Barrage Cargo Rolltop Backpack

    chrome barrage rolltop backpack

    The Chrome Barrage Cargo backpack is real gem. I’ve been running this back daily for the last three months and it’s really impressed me. Sure, Chrome has a huge variety of bags for all purposes, but the Barrage is one of the best all-arounders I’ve tried out. This bag isn’t for messin’, no. Instead it excels as a day pack, perfect for toting your daily sundries while leaving you plenty of room for whatever you may pick up along the way.

    On the exterior of this US-made backpack, you’ve got a webbed cargo net that is perfect for holding all sorts of items, including a helmet, a stinky pair of shoes, beer you don’t have room for in your bag, and even a skateboard. Well, especially a skateboard. Like I said, it’d the perfect day bag. Day-to-day I’d find myself carrying my 15″ Macbook pro, a pair of skate shoes, water bottle, tool roll, lock, deodorant, windbreaker and a few other items. Even with all this junk I carry, I’ve still got room for a sixer on the way home. Check out a few narrated detail shots below and if you’re interested in the Barrage Cargo Bag be sure to head over to your local bike shop, Chrome Hub, or Chrome Industries.

    -B

    Continue reading “Chrome Barrage Cargo Rolltop Backpack” »